WRAL Digital Wins National Award For HDTV Program

WRAL Digital Wins National Award For HDTV Program

WRAL has won a prestigious national award for the high definition television program, “Wilderness North Carolina.” The IRIS Award was presented to the station by the National Association of Television Program Executives at the Sony Studios in Culver City, CA.

“Wilderness” was produced by Nina Szlosberg and photographed and edited by Art Howard. It was aired on WRAL Digital and presented to the new North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for presentations in their new high definition theatre. Working with museum curators, Howard taped the 17-minute program over a 14-month period. The


Nina Szlosberg produced “Wilderness NC” for WRAL.

The 17-minute program features NC wildlife in HD detail.

program, funded by Capitol Broadcasting Co., Inc., captures the beauty and wildlife of North Carolina. It brings the viewer into the world of loggerhead turtles, bears, deer and other animals and shows the beauty of state wilderness areas in full high resolution, surround sound imagery. Mike Dunn, a naturalist with the museum, traveled with the team and aided in setting up the locations from the mountains to the coast. The program is aired multiple times each day at the museum in downtown Raleigh.

The award was the first given for a production in high definition television. The station was cited for its leading role in the development of digital television and for the beauty and authenticity of the production. Last year, WRAL-TV won another IRIS Award for its outstanding web site.

The WRAL Digital Theater, and the “Wilderness” program, were donated to the state museum by Capitol Broadcasting Company and the Fletcher Foundation.

WRAL’s Other Iris Nominations

In a year of a record number of entries, WRAL-TV received four nominations in the 34th Annual Iris Awards. In the Children’s category, centralXpress.com received a nomination for the “Bomb Threat” episode. Along with “Wilderness NC,” the WRAL documentary “Upon This Rock” received nomination in the HD Programming category. WRAL OnLine received a nomination in the Web Site category.


Dan Oliver shoots one of cXp’s recent episodes.
centralXpress.com is WRAL-TV’s home grown children’s program about a group of local teens and their school website. An episode about race relations, “True Colors,” won two national Iris Awards in 1998. WRAL-TV Producer Dan Oliver directs and produces the program.

The HD Programming category is new to the Iris this year and strives to recognize the growing influence and role that high-definition television has within the industry. WRAL-TV received two of the three


“Creation” is one of the many artistic wonders cauqht on HD in “Upon This Rock.”
nominations in that field. “Upon This Rock” featured David Crabtree as host on a trip to the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. Senior Photographer Jay Jennings shot all the footage for the special, and Documentary Producer Scott Masson served as producer.

WRAL OnLine won the Best Web Site award last year, in the first year for that category.

The Iris Awards are sponsored by the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) and are “the only national awards recognizing excellence in programming for locally funded television and cable stations in the United States and Canada.”

CBC Vice President of HD John Greene contributed to this report.

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